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Desperate money fuels fragile Shanghai stock rally

Investors look at computer screens showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai.

HONG KONG -- With nowhere else to go, return-hungry individual investors have started piling into Shanghai shares, catapulting the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index past the 3,100 line to a seven-month high on Monday. The recovery is impressive -- trading value on the Shanghai Stock Exchange spiked 80% from Friday to 327.9 billion yuan ($49.4 billion) -- but also precarious, as fickle investors could desert the market just as quickly.

The index opened higher Tuesday, but then fell slightly due to profit-taking.

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